″Afghanistan and I Have Lost Two Wonderful Friends″ | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 20.10.2006
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"Afghanistan and I Have Lost Two Wonderful Friends"

Deutsche Welle journalists Karen Fischer and Christian Struwe, who were murdered in Afghanistan on Oct. 7, were buried on Friday. DW colleagues have been mourning their untimely deaths.


DW held a memorial service for Fischer and Struwe shortly after their deaths

"Hey, Karen, when I got out of the conference here at Deutsche Welle and went back to the office a few days ago there was a message from you on my cell phone," wrote a close friend at DW-RADIO's German service. "You thanked me for my call the day before. And you said it had made you happy to know that someone at home was thinking of you. And once more you told me -- as you so often had -- that I shouldn't worry about you. The last image I have of you and Christian is from taking you to the airport and saying good-bye. You were beaming because you were finally going back to Afghanistan, exactly this image of you will remain in my memories."

Friends and colleagues of Karen Fischer and Christian Struwe have been recording their memories and their grief in condolence books at Deutsche Welle's offices in Bonn and Berlin.

Karen Fischer Kabul Afghanistan

Karen Fischer

Karen Fischer and Christian Struwe were recognized and held in esteem well beyond their immediate work environments -- professionally and personally. DW Director General Erik Bettermann had lauded their dedication to reconstructing Afghanistan's media system on the day their deaths were announced. They had done a lot for the country.

In love with Afghanistan

Working for DW, Christian Struwe had been part of creating an international news office at Afghanistan's state television. Karen Fischer had last year reported for DW-RADIO on parliamentary elections in Afghanistan, among other things. Both were considered experienced foreign correspondents and had traveled to Afghanistan many times personally and for business.

Mourning continues at DW-RADIO, DW-WORLD.DE, DW-TV and DW-AKADEMIE, for whom Christian Struwe had previously traveled to Afghanistan. Many colleagues, both from DW and elsewhere, have expressed their appreciation for Fischer and Struwe's ability as reporters to constantly keep in mind the everyday lives and fortunes of the "common man" in the Caucasus as well as after the recent war in Lebanon. Both were especially fascinated by Afghanistan. They loved the country.

Christian Struwe Kabul Afghanistan

Christian Struwe (right)

Ratbil Shamel, a journalist for DW-RADIO's Afghan service had worked with Karen Fischer and Christian Struwe many times, in Germany and Afghanistan.

"Dear Karen, dear Christian, I remember exactly how we often used to dream of a teahouse in Bamyan together," he wrote. "The nights were long in Kabul and invited one to dream. Now I'm bewildered and can't grasp that the country that you loved so much stole all your dreams. I'm ashamed that that's the case and terribly sad. I'm also sad that Afghanistan and I have lost two wonderful friends. I know it's immaterial now, but many people in Kunduz, Bamyan, Kabul or Herat have been affected and expressed their sorrow. I will never forget you"

Karen Fischer and Christian Struwe were buried on Friday in southern Germany.

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